Life-Study of Leviticusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The burnt offering is the Christ who is absolutely for God’s satisfaction. In this message we shall see from the text of Leviticus 1 how to offer Christ as the burnt offering.
Chapters one through seven of Leviticus do not give us the details concerning what Christ is as the offerings; instead, these chapters show us the way to offer Christ. Although Leviticus 1—7 tells us that Christ is the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering, actually these chapters do not tell us how Christ is these offerings but tell us how to offer Christ as these offerings. Leviticus 1—7 does not speak of what Christ Himself is totally as the offerings. For example, Leviticus 1 speaks not of what Christ is totally as the burnt offering but rather speaks of the way to offer Christ as the burnt offering. If these chapters only told us what Christ is totally as the offerings, then these chapters would be merely objective teachings of doctrines. However, these chapters are not merely objective teachings, but they reveal to us the subjective experiences we may have of Christ. Chapter one does not teach us how much Christ is as the burnt offering but teaches us how to experience Christ and then how to bring our experience of Christ to God. It is altogether a matter not of doctrine but of experience.
If we do not realize this point, we shall be bothered by certain things in Leviticus 1, for instance, the washing of the burnt offering. What does it mean for Christ as the burnt offering to be washed? A matter such as this becomes clear when we realize that this chapter does not tell us about Christ in His entirety as the burnt offering but shows us the way to offer Christ. What we offer is not Christ Himself in His entirety but the Christ we have experienced.
In Leviticus 1 Christ as the burnt offering is seen first as a bull (v. 5), second, as a sheep or a goat (v. 10), and finally, as a turtledove or a pigeon (v. 14). This bothered me when I was young, for I wondered how we could have a Christ in different sizes. Of course, in Himself and in His totality Christ is of one size. Christ’s size is universal; His dimensions are the breadth, the length, the height, and the depth (Eph. 3:18). Not even a bull can represent Christ in His universal greatness, in His dimensions.
Although in Himself Christ is of one size, in our experiences Christ is of different sizes. For example, a new believer who has been helped to know Christ to a certain degree may offer Christ to God at the Lord’s table. In God’s eyes what he offers of Christ might be a small pigeon. But suppose the Apostle Paul could be present in the meeting and also offer Christ to God as the burnt offering. In God’s eyes Paul’s offering might be a large bull. In the same meeting another believer, who has been in the Lord fifteen years and who has had considerable experience of the Lord, may also offer Christ as his burnt offering. In the eyes of God his offering might be a lamb. In this meeting Christ as the burnt offering is of three sizes. This does not mean, however, that Christ is actually of more than one size. In Himself Christ is of one size. The difference, then, is not in what He is but in what we experience.
As we read Leviticus 1, we need to keep in mind that this chapter does not teach us concerning the actual size of Christ in His totality. On the contrary, this chapter teaches us concerning the Christ whom we experience. Christ is eternally great, but in my experience He may be like a pigeon in size. After some years, I may be able to offer Christ as a lamb. If I continue to grow, eventually the Christ I offer as a burnt offering will be the same as that offered by Paul, a large bull. This is a matter of experience, not of doctrine. The fact that in Leviticus 1 the burnt offering is of different sizes indicates that what is taught in this chapter is not doctrinal but experiential.
Let us now turn to the text of Leviticus 1 and consider a number of important matters related to experience.
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